It’s actually Day 138 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project. I’d posted micro-posts on social media but realized I had the day wrong so am coming back to correct it. I also realized those who enjoy the posts about fashion would miss this if I’m not connected with them via FB or LinkedIn…The day was amazing: networking at H7 Connect, having a meeting with my book editor, and setting up at our venue for tomorrow’s all day event. We like to look professional while prepping to present.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic chick with a full day ahead of me, I’m going to wrap up preparations. So excited and can’t wait to share about the day tomorrow.
Day 132 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project was one that felt a bit like a roller coaster ride. After experiencing a high day yesterday during equally magical workshop planning and writing group meetings, I woke up anticipating another top of the world day. After all, I was going to finally submit everything required to have my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, published and I had a lunch date to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday/reunite with one of my former coachees, a young woman who has now become just as dear to my heart. In the midst of finalizing our plans, I received some distressing news that sent my spirit plummeting. When I texted that to my friend Julie, she asked if we should shoot for another day. Rather than reschedule, I asked if we could chat instead. I’d had the pleasure of training her to be a life coach and knew she had mad skills and so was cautiously optimistic that by the time she was done with me, I’d want to do lunch anyway.
Julie, who has the looks of Martina MacBride and the heart of Mother Teresa, responded, “Please call me.” Even though it’s her birthday and I should have been encouraging her, she talked me off the ledge. She rocked our impromptu coaching session out, and before I knew it, my spirit was climbing back up simply because she took the time to cover all the coaching bases – making me feel safe, being non judgmental, sharing a little about her own experience so I knew she could relate, asking powerful questions and then truly listening, letting me lead the conversation, helping me to establish some action steps, and finally just assuring me that she’s in it with me.
After we adjusted our meeting time slightly, I quickly added a note to the gift tag attached to her birthday gift – a framed print of Mother Teresa. It read: “Sweet Julie, you see Mother Teresa in everyone, but you are the one who has her heart.” Now, in spite of my distressing news, I really couldn’t wait to do lunch (Sushi!) anyway. Spirit way back up!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who loves the meaningful lyrics in country music, Martina MacBride’s “Anyway” is a favorite. In fact, it’s one of the songs I covered on the sampler CD I recorded to accompany Seasons of Her Soul (I hope to put it on MP3 as well). Prior to Julie providing me with some impromptu coaching, I felt like the truth in these opening lines were enough to keep me low all day:
You can spend your whole life building
Something from nothin’
One storm can come and blow it all away
But then, after lunch and just doing just a little bit of life with two Savvy & Chic Soul Sisters, my spirit was lifted enough that I could come home, submit my book, get on with life, and basically take action on what the last line in the stanza says:
Do it anyway.
What about you? Have ever been the provider or recipient of impromptu coaching? How has it steadied a roller coaster day?
Also, those lyrics are a reminder to keep praying for all of those who are suffering due to Harvey, Irma and the fires.
Day 130 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project has been a doozie! As I race toward the finish line in submitting all of the documents for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, to be published, I feel almost as if I’ve exerted as much effort writing the dedication, epitaph, acknowledgements, word from the author, etc., etc. as I did in writing the book itself! I’m not complaining, just saying that getting published is not for the faint of heart. I feel like I climbed into the publication saddle without being prepared for the long, sometimes uncomfortable ride. Hence the sign below. I snapped a shot of it this summer while on vacation and knew a post would emerge to fit it.
Publishing a book isn’t the only scenario where one has to be ready for the ride. Academic undertakings, like college or advanced classes to increase career knowledge, lifestyle changes that require discipline such as eating better and exercise, relationships like marriage and parenting, and making a decision to live a faith-filled life are all things that are not to be entered into lightly. Just like a saddle. We need to be ready for the ride before we jump into it. Because once we’re in and off and running, ride can be long, and it’s inevitable that there will be smooth spots, rough ones, and everything in between. Sometimes, though we may feel like it, dismounting is not an option.
Still, as much as I love horseback riding, there are publication preparation days when I can relate to what someone once said about the experience: “A horse bites in the front, kicks in the back, and is darn uncomfortable in the middle.” Those are the days when I grab on to the saddle and hold tight so I can stay on.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who’s wanted to be published practically since I could put my foot in a stirrup, I’m glad that I can’t just jump off the horse’s back because it’s a long ride and I’m tired. Tired or not, there’s so much to be enjoyed and for me to learn in this process. As much as I’m ready for my book to be published and to hold the finished product in my hands, I’m just as ready for the process – the ride.
What saddle have you jumped into and are experiencing a long ride? Hold on tight and try to enjoy it. Remember, it’s not just the product, it’s the process that matters…
It’s Day 124 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and after getting a good night’s sleep by my own solutions for storm sleep deprivation to practice, I woke refreshed and raring to go. Women holding on to their daydreams of working for themselves, pursuing their passions and living out their purpose seemed to be the theme of the day. After spending the morning working on submission items for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, I had an impromptu phone meeting and then an intentional one that reinforced this theme.
The first conversation was with a woman who is operating a nonprofit. She’s been doing it for about a year and was recently nominated for an award for the best resource for her target agency. So impressive! She was reaching out for my coaching expertise and I am honored to provide it. In return, she is going to lend me some support around growing Pink Collar Savvy & Chic. That’s bartering at its best! We come from similar backgrounds (minority females raised in poverty) and have maximized education coupled with a strong work ethic to make our dreams a reality. While working in our full-time careers, there were hard periods when it seemed like quitting our daydreams would be easier. But that was never really an option.
My second conversation was with my former editor, now book coach. This amazing award-winning author landed a three book deal with a reputable Christian publisher and has experienced self-publishing success as well. We were discussing how much labor goes into the publishing process, whether traditional or self-publishing, and I likened it to child birth. “I feel like I’ve been pregnant with Seasons of Her Soul forever, now I’m just ready to give birth”, I lamented and then worried I’d been overly dramatic. “I know! That’s exactly how I felt,” was her immediate response. I breathed a sigh of relief and she went on to tell me how her coach (much like a labor coach), pushed her throughout the process, leaving her exhausted and spent. But she never gave up on her daydream of becoming an author. And in the end, it was so worth it to see the book come to life. Turns out my childbirth comparison was right on! I emerged from the conversation with a better understanding of how becoming an author is truly a labor of love.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who has wanted to be a published author and own my own lifestyle magazine that featured beauty, fashion, home decorating, as well as insight and inspiration, I’m still working at my daydream. The desire to write books has remained a constant, while the magazine piece has expanded to include blogging. Furthermore, my dream has evolved and now includes coaching, speaking, training, singing, image and interior consultations. Interacting with two women who never gave up on their daydreams today reinforces my commitment and the fact that I’ll never quit mine.
What is your daydream? Have you quit it? How can you apply yourself to not only start dreaming about it again, but to make it a reality?
Yesterday, Day 98, and today, Day 99, of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project have been busy. I’ve been immersed in writing the acknowledgements for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul (there are so many!). In addition to that, I’ve been collaborating with the award winning author and writing coach who edited my book for publication. She is graciously writing endorsements for the front and back of the book. I was thrilled when she invited me to attend a writing group last night where I was able to have the synopsis critiqued so I can edit it down to a blurb to fit the back of the soft cover and the inside jacket of the hard copy. This is one of the most important decisions because whether a potential reader (hopefully you) likes the blurb or not often determines if they’ll read the book.
I’m so thankful that I’m in this season of transition in my life. Being able to work from home in order to focus on everything that I need to accomplish to meet my deadline for the book to be released in January of 2018 is a blessing. And as I posted earlier this week, being able to do so from my office outside is a beautiful one. This morning, as soon as I stepped on my deck I saw the first cluster of changing leaves. They were confirmation that I should end the blurb where the writing group suggested – as Lee, the heroin, enters fall and a season of change and transition. Though she’s fictitious, from the time I imagined her, our lives have had parallels.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who is trying to figure out my blogging voice, my target audience for my blog and novel, and all of the details that go with these decisions, at times I feel a bit overwhelmed. I believe my content, be it career, home, image, or lifestyle, all with faith running through it, contains valuable insight and inspiration for women. I so want to encourage and inspire you! That being the case, I hope you’ll hang in there with me as I find my way through all I want to share until I land on what you’d like me to share… Like these leaves, I’m hanging in there through this stage of transition and am thankful for the reminder that though I can’t always see through the trees, He’s always shining down on me and has got me through it all.
Day 92 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project found me pouring through images to try to find the perfect front and back cover for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. I’ve always had a few non-negotiables around this – pink, roses, and a dark, curly haired girl that resembles my heroin, Lee, dressed in a vintage dress, all set in a Shabby Chic interior. I’m happy to say that after countless hours and mounting frustration, I finally found The One my heart was longing for. Actually, there are two images in the same room, one with the female model and the other without. There is only a bit of pink in each of the pictures, however, I can rectify that with the title and my name providing the pop of my preferred color. They’re not perfect (I need to get over myself a little on this one), still they’re SO quintessentially Shabby Chic and pretty.
Much of my search was conducted in the dining room, which also serves as my office. It has a lot in common with the final images I chose in that it’s not perfect, but it certainly is pretty. It’s also comfortable. And functional. Despite the stains in the chair from drinks spilled while people sat around enjoying one another’s company, or as children did their homework. Despite the smallish size and the oak china hutch I inherited from the other Tammy (hers is with a “y” as opposed to my “i”) and wish desperately I could paint white!
The reason I can still see the beauty is that I focus on the meaningful moments, like the chandelier and dining set that I purchased with money my beloved Daddy left me when he died too early at fifty-two, just four years older than I am now. I see beauty in all of the authentic Simply Shabby Chic and Rachel Ashwell treasures I sacrificed to buy in order to furnish the townhouse where I created a home for my children and myself after my abusive wasband made me homeless. I see so much beauty in the way I’ve poured my heart and soul into curating, collecting, and creating a space that is truly a sanctuary.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Chick who is a self-professed perfectionist, embracing the Shabby Chic philosophy of perfect imperfection comes easily for me when it comes to my home’s decor. I’m alright with old-fashioned and wonky and can’t imagine living in a suite full of furniture from a showroom. Relinquishing my idea of perfection when it comes to my book is not as easy. But it was possible. The images I finally landed on are described as “Dressing Table in Old-Fashioned Room” and “Young Woman Holding Dress”. Both make me nostalgic for days gone by. And the young woman’s hair conjures up Lee… While the images may not be perfect, they’re pretty perfect for beckoning readers to take a look back at the Seasons of Her Soul.
What in your life is pretty, even if it isn’t perfect?
It’s Day 90 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and it’s been a busy one! I officially began working with my publisher to select the artwork for the front and back cover of Seasons of Her Soul. There are so many choices, and there’s a time frame involved to ensure the book releases by January as planned. That being the case, I could have gone with the first options that I liked, but knowing myself the way I do, I need to see all of the options in order to make an informed decision. If not, I’m the type of person who’d choose, then keep on looking until I found something I liked even better, which would make me regret my original choice. I’ve been known to play the “If I coulda woulda shoulda” game, and don’t want to do that when the stakes are so high.
The thing is, I know myself and what I like. For instance, when I went to purchase my first brand new car ever, I had my heart set on white but they didn’t have that color in town. The salesman told me he’d never lost one over color. “You’ll lose this one,” was my immediate response. So he drove a state over to pick up my beautiful white car. Eleven years later, I’ve still never seen one I like as much as the one I’m still driving. Set as I was on car color, that pales in comparison to how I want my novel to look. While explaining how time consuming looking at the options is to my hubby, he hit the nail on the head when said he knew it would be pink.
After several hours of viewing things that were almost it but not quite – the model wasn’t right, or the colors, or the decor, I felt a bit overwhelmed. Ready to take a break from it, I finally came upon some images where the woman truly resembles Lee, the novel’s heroin. She’s dressed the way I would have drawn her, has the right facial expressions, and her surroundings are Shabby Chic. I’m so close and know, if I follow my heart, I’ll find the image that matches what’s in my imagination.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who really does know myself, I decided today to be myself, not only with the selection of my novel’s cover, but with every aspect of its publication. And in the moment I did, the beautiful vision I hold in my heart for the cover of Seasons of Her Soul began to come to life. I can’t wait to hold it in my hands.
What about you? In what situations do you need to decide to be yourself? When you do, you’ll experience true beauty.